The Slovenia Times

Epidemic calming but much still depends on people's behaviour

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Krek assessed at the government's regular briefing that Slovenia would have been looking at 480,000 Covid-19 cases and 90,000 deaths had containment measures not been adopted. Had the epidemic evolved the way it did in Lombardy in neighbouring Italy, 800 people would have died in Slovenian so far as opposed to 30.

"The virus doesn't have legs of wings and cannot spread on its own. It is only people who can allow it to spread by behaving inappropriately and disregarding safe movement rules," he said, urging that these rules continue be observed, or else the curve "can quickly turn into a much worse direction".

Welcoming the lockdown measures currently in place, he noted a seven-day fluctuation pattern in the number of cases, which he said "was the result of imprudent behaviour and travelling during the past weekends".

Krek highlighted the cancellation, at the eleventh hour on 7 March, of a concert by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli scheduled at Ljubljana's StoĹžice Arena as a major moment.

"We were edging on a disaster which could have started after the concert. The Italian tragedy started at a football match where over 40,000 people came together," he said.

Pointing to a model by a London institute, Krek said a failure to use social distancing would have led to 7 billion infections around the world and 40 million deaths. If key measures are adopted and observed these numbers can be reduced to 2.5 billion and 10 million respectively.

Meanwhile, commenting on opinion discrepancies among experts, including in Slovenia, he said opinions among experts were never uniform. He believes a united position will be reached in the end "so that all is right".

"I do not see the tensions between experts, epidemiologists and within the NIJZ as a problem. It is good that a discussion is developing and that we can talk freely and look for common points," he said.

He also welcomed the much debated government orders for compulsory use of masks indoors and disinfecting of multi-home buildings.

"The stricter the measures, the better, since transmission is reduced. We believe that the current measures suffice, since we are seeing a decline in new daily cases," Krek said.

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